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PLANS FOR£2M NATIONAL CYCLING FUND UNVEILED

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Plans for a new scheme to provide up to£2m support for cycling projects across the country are being considered by...
Plans for a new scheme to provide up to£2m support for cycling projects across the country are being considered by the newly-formed National Cycling Strategy Board.

John Spellar, the minister for transport, has outlined proposals for the provision of a cycling fund of up to£1m per year over the next two years to provide support for a range of cycling projects across the country.

The projects will include creating new cycle parking areas, improving existing cycling routes and creating new cycle routes.

The National Cycling Board will now consider the proposals, presented at its inaugural meeting yesterday, and further details of the fund and invitations to bid will be announced in the next few weeks.

The NCS Board remit covers England and was established to help ensure the implementation of the National Cycling Strategy's (NCS) outputs, aims and objectives. The Board will focus on key tasks identified annually by the National Cycle Forum (NCF). This will involve co-ordinating and integrating contributions to the NCS from all relevant sectors, and monitoring progress on NCS outputs and targets.

The Board has overall responsibility for the recommendation of day-to-day policy, advice and guidance to local authorities and government departments, and will also be responsible for proposing revision to the NCS as necessary in the light of wider developments.

At the first full meeting of the board, John Spellar said:

'I am pleased that the board is now fully operational, and has a clear focus on the task ahead.

'Dynamic action is needed to implement the National Cycling Strategy. I and my Department will give full support to the board in identifying and unblocking obstacles to progress.'

The chairman of the NCS board, Steven Norris said:

'We have been able to assemble a strong board membership, and I am confident that we shall make rapid progress in opening up opportunities for people to cycle more.'

Nine people have so far agreed to serve on the Board:

Philip Darnton

Professor Siân Griffiths

John Grimshaw

Oliver Hatch

Alan Jones

Roger Horton

William Rickett

Lynn Sloman

Christian Wolmar

They are not representative of particular organisations, but have been selected for their knowledge of issues that the Board will need to engage, and their willingness to contribute to making cycling a mainstream form of transport. There may be one or two further appointments over the next few weeks.

A full list of the board membership, with biographical notes, is

attached.

Notes

1. The NCS board is one outcome of a restructuring of the

mechanisms for carrying forward and implementing the National

Cycling Strategy in England. The board will meet at approximately

2-monthly intervals, and will report annually to a stakeholders'

meeting of those representing the interests of cycling and

cyclists.

2. The National Cycling Strategy was launched in 1996. It aims to

establish a culture favourable to the increased use of bicycles for

all ages. The central target in the strategy is to quadruple the

amount of cycling trips (based on 1996 figures), by 2012. The

Strategy is a consensus document that was developed in a spirit of

partnership between organisations in the public, private and

voluntary sectors.

3. The appointment of Steven Norris as Chairman of the NCS Board

was announced on 22 October 2001.

BOARD MEMBERSHIP AND BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES

Steven Norris (NCS board chairman) is a former Conservative MP, and

the transport minister who established the National Cycling Strategy.

He has served as a Conservative councillor, stood as the Conservative

candidate for London mayor and is a former vice-chairman of the

Conservative Party. Mr Norris is a patron of Transport 2000 and

Sustrans. His commercial interests include Citigate and First Group

London bus operations. He is a director of a number of

transport-related companies; an advisor to the Abbot Group plc and to

Central Railways Ltd; and president of the Motor Cycle Industry

Association. He is chairman of the Prince Michael International Road

Safety Awards.

Phillip Darnton, was educated at Oxford where he read 'Greats' before

joining Unilever plc. During a career of 30 years with Unilever, he

worked initially in marketing functions, before moving into general

management as president of Lever Brothers Canada in 1987. From there

he worked for six years in Brazil as the managing director of

Unilever's largest soaps and detergents' business, with a turnover of

£750m. After a brief spell in London as an advisor to the

chairman of Unilever, he was invited to join the board of Reckitt and

Coleman plc as the director for global marketing. He is presently

executive chairman of Raleigh UK, having been the managing director

for the past two years. Aged 58, he lives in London; his leisure

interests centre on music and the arts.

Professor Siân Griffiths OBE is senior fellow in public health at

Oxford University, and visiting professor at Oxford Brookes

University. Until recently she was also director of public health and

health policy for the Oxfordshire Health Authority. She has authored

and edited a variety of health-related publications. Between 1995 and

1999 she was co-chair of the Association for Public Health and also

treasurer of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine. She is now

president of the faculty. Professor Griffiths is currently a board

member of the New Opportunities Fund, a member of the National Cancer

Taskforce and is involved in several local charities. She has

recently completed a part-time secondment to the Rough Sleepers Unit

as their health advisor.

John Grimshaw MBE studied Engineering at Cambridge University before

joining contractors Taylor Woodrow; doing a spell with VSO in Uganda;

and then joining consultants Mander, Raikes and Marshall based in

Bristol. In 1980 he left to work full-time designing and developing

quality cycle routes, often on the alignments of abandoned railways.

These immensely popular projects led to the formation of Sustrans

Ltd, a registered charity, to carry out practical demonstration

projects pointing towards a sustainable transport future. The most

significant of these has been the£210m National Cycle

Network, partly funded by the Millennium Commission.

Oliver Hatch was born in London in 1950, and became involved in

transport issues in 1980, joining the London Cycling Campaign (LCC).

On the international level he is Director of the 'Velo-city' series

of international cycle planning conferences, and executive director

of programs for Velo-Mondial - an organisation that seeks to promote

cycling at a global level. In the UK, he is the parliamentary officer

for the Cyclists' Public Affairs Group (C-PAG), and is the secretary

for the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group at Westminster. He is a

regular city cyclist, uses public transport, walks and also owns a

car.

Alan Jones is chief executive of Test Valley BC, a post which he has

held for the last 5 years. Previously he was director of development

at Newbury DC. His background is in town and country planning and

he has a specialist interest in transport matters. He has written

green transport plans and promoted the principles of sustainable

transport in both the public and private sectors. He is a keen cyclist,

both on and off-road, and he has toured extensively in a number of

countries around the world. He lives with his wife and daughters in

west Berkshire.

Roger Horton has been involved in transport since being elected to

Sandwell MBC in 1975. He is a past chair of technical services,

environment and development services, and Sandwell and Dudley

Transport Users Consultative Committee. Roger has been a member of

the West Midlands Transport Authority over 14 years and during that

time has held various posts and travelled to many countries to view

new forms of transport. He was a local government representative on

the National Cycle Network Steering Committee and a director of West

Midlands Special Needs Transport. His hobbies include photography,

travel, and model construction.

William Rickett became director general of transport strategy, roads,

local and maritime in the department for transport, local government

and the regions in July 2000. He joined the department of energy in

1975 after studying mathematics, physics and the history and

philosophy of science at Cambridge. He spent three years as private

secretary to the prime minister from 1981 to 1983, and two years on

secondment to the corporate finance department of the merchant bank,

Kleinwort Benson Limited. He was appointed director of finance in the

department of the environment in 1993 and director of town and

country planning in February 1997. In May 1998, he was promoted to be

deputy secretary in charge of the economic and domestic secretariat

in the cabinet office. In January 2000, he was appointed head of the

integrated transport taskforce in the DETR and published the 10 Year

Plan for Transport in July that year. He was born in 1953, is married

with two children, and lives in London.

Lynn Sloman is assistant director of the environmental group

Transport 2000, and a special adviser to the Board of Transport for

London. She is also a trustee of the Environmental Transport

Association. She has a particular interest in policy relating to

cycling, walking, liveable streets and road safety. Before working

for Transport 2000 she did policy research on science and

environmental issues, and community work in inner London. She has a

doctorate in earth sciences from the University of Oxford.

Christian Wolmar is a writer and broadcaster specialising in

transport. He has a fortnightly column in Rail magazine and

contributes to a wide variety of other publications. He is a keen

cyclist who uses his bicycle as his principal means of transport. He

was chair of the National Cycling Forum's intermodality working

group. He is a regular broadcaster on both television and radio. His

book on rail privatisation and the consequences of the Hatfield train

disaster, Broken Rail, was published in October and other recent

books include the Great British Railway Disaster, a humorous look at

rail privatisation, and Stagecoach, a history of the company.

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